Leicester man runs London Marathon for cancer prevention charity in memory of his grandfather

22 February 2015

A Leicester man will run the Brighton Marathon for cancer prevention after overcoming a condition that caused him to faint when he played sport.

Paul Harvey, 24, will run the 26 mile route for World Cancer Research Fund next April in memory of his grandfather, Brian, who died of Lymphoma in 2004 aged 67.

This will be a huge challenge for the theatre administrator who for years couldn’t exercise for fear he would pass out.

Paul, from Countesthorpe, said: “Doctors have never been able to diagnose what caused it.  It lasted for years and meant I could never do any sports at school. They could never pin down what prompted it as it happened sporadically.

“Now that I can exercise, I wanted to do something to challenge myself physically and mentally and to benefit others.

The De Montfort University graduate has gradually reintroduced sport into his life, and now regularly exercises.

He said: “Since the condition appears to have faded, I now run and cycle to work on a daily basis.”

He chose to raise money for World Cancer Research Fund, which funds research into cancer prevention and provides health information, after adopting the charity’s healthy lifestyle messages.

Paul said: “I was very close to my granddad, and many of my friends have been touched by cancer, so I know how awful it is when you hear that someone you love has been diagnosed with the disease. Running for cancer prevention seemed like the perfect cause.

“If I can help a charity that helps prevent cancer, then this marathon will be worth it.”

Paul Fretwell, Head of Fundraising at World Cancer Research Fund, said: “It’s thanks to the hard work of people like Paul that we can continue to help people make lifestyle choices that will reduce their risk of cancer.

“He’s helping us bring about a world where no one develops a preventable cancer.”

Scientists estimate that about a third of common cancers could be prevented through maintaining a healthy weight, eating a healthy diet and being regularly physically active.

World Cancer Research Fund are the experts on cancer prevention research relating to diet, weight and physical activity.

To sponsor Paul and World Cancer Research Fund, visit http://www.justgiving.com/P-Harvey1, text PHMB50 to 70070, or call 020 7343 4200.

Notes to editors

More quotes available.

About World Cancer Research Fund UK:

  • World Cancer Research Fund is the leading UK charity dedicated to the prevention of cancer through diet, weight and physical activity. We are the leading authority on cancer prevention; funding and support research, conducting policy and providing health information.
  • Our scientific research ensures that we have the latest and most authoritative information at our fingertips and this is underpinned by independent expert advice. We ensure that people can make informed lifestyle choices to reduce their risk of preventable cancer and live healthy lives.
  • Our analysis of global research shows that a third of the most common cancers are preventable through a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight and regular physical activity.